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Understanding the gradual development of definiteness marking: the case of Swedish
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2015 (English)In: Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax, ISSN 1100-097X, no 95, 11-32 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses how definiteness marking emerges and develops in the Scandinavian languages, with a specific focus on Swedish. The article contains a formal analysis undertaken within a minimalist framework. It is argued that definiteness in full-blown article languages is composed of two cooperating formal features associated with two functional heads. However, early formal definiteness is identified with only one of these features, used optionally, which explains why definiteness marking progressed relatively slowly. The emergence of the optional use of formal definite markers seems to have had a snowball effect, eventually leading to the modern system of obligatory definiteness marking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. no 95, 11-32 p.
Keyword [en]
definitness, emergence of definite articles, Scandinavian, Old Swedish
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269511OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-269511DiVA: diva2:883258
The syntax of the early Scandinavian noun phrase
Swedish Research Council, 421-2010-1272
Available from: 2015-12-16 Created: 2015-12-16 Last updated: 2015-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Stroh-Wollin, Ulla
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